Harare – Zimbabwean music videos were in the past the object of scorn.
They were bland, predictable and struggled to make a mark beyond the country’s borders, let alone within the country itself.
Just getting a video played on international channels like Trace or Channel O would send artists into ecstasy.
But things have been changing.
Even upcoming artists are putting together good videos on tight budgets, allowing them to reach millions of music lovers across Southern Africa and beyond.
This is a result of a new generation of cinematographers which is emerging in Zimbabwe.
Speaking to The Southern Times Arts, video-maker Kudzanai “K-Mane” Maneswa said they were taking advantage of new technologies to catch up with the rest of the world.
“The Internet has made the world a smaller place. Platforms such as YouTube and Vineo have allowed local directors, myself included, to learn and adapt. There’s also been heavy investment in the quality of the cameras used,” said Maneswa.
One of the problems of the past, was the overload of roles on one person and Maneswa believes it can only be cured by better financing of projects.
“As much as we have progressed in recent years I feel there is still a lot of work to be done. I think there is still need to step up on bigger budgets and investing in even better equipment.
There’s also need for the industry to specialize and expand; we need stand-alone colourists, cinematographers etc. Local directors have really stepped up and I think artists need to invest more in visuals
Having handled work for Enzo Ishall, Garry Mapanzure, Janet Manyowa, Takura and other big names, he is hoping to take his skill to a regional level through collaborations with other like minded creatives in South Africa, Tanzania and other countries near Zimbabwe.
Other trailblazing directors include Aaron Mheta, Leoy V of Letter Z Pictures and Mitch Uta.
Most of them are around 26-years-old or younger.
Lockdowns, brought by COVID-19 have also been a strong stimulus for creativity as the greater fraction of good videos have been produced under this period.
One body of work which is a show of dexterity is Poptain and Anita Jackson`s More which was shot by Rain Jasmin Midzi on a phone, using a mirror as a reflector after a cancelled show in the resort town of Kariba.